[Nfbmo] KMOX Show

Cory McMahon cjmc404 at hotmail.com
Thu Feb 23 20:48:32 UTC 2012

Beautifully-written e-mail, Gary!

From: "Gary Wunder" <GWunder at earthlink.net>
Sent: Thursday, February 23, 2012 2:44 PM
To: "'NFB of Missouri Mailing List'" <nfbmo at nfbnet.org>
Subject: [Nfbmo] KMOX Show

> I just wanted to make a brief comment about the radio show on KMOX.  The
> outrage of the host was wonderful, compassionate, and made for a very good
> show that made me believe once again in the power of good people to 
> motivate
> others and influence government. Praise be to God for this.
> I think that one of the hardest things about simultaneously supporting the
> blind pension, training, and the right of blind people to work is to find
> just the right balance so that one is not used against the other.  I
> understand the concern about the timing of Brent's comments, but more than
> once we have gone to bat for Rehabilitation Services for the Blind or
> something to protect us against employment discrimination, only to be told
> that we need not worry about any of this because there is a blind pension.
> Granted, there is a time to fight for a thing with minimal distraction, 
> but
> at the same time I think it is okay that the host, who was definitely kind
> and sympathetic to our cause, should come to understand that there is a
> place for blind people in a radio studio and in many other places that he
> would not think of as something a blind person could do. There will or
> certainly should be a time when we go to talk about inaccessible copy
> machines, software that, if properly constructed, could open up jobs for 
> us,
> and the jobs we have that are harder to do because we don't figure into 
> the
> equation when new equipment is bought. If we go and only talk about our 
> need
> for a pension and medical care and neglect the pressing need for 
> accessible
> home appliances, shame on us for our shortsightedness; it will most
> certainly land us in nursing homes long before our health should dictate 
> our
> residing there.
> The message we send is a complex one, and I don't blame Brent for trying 
> to
> keep it from being completely one sided--we, the poor blind. We are more
> than that, and we want more than a pension and medical services. These are
> crucial and they are the issue of the moment, but it is not clear to me 
> that
> we should let statements about what we can't do go unchallenged when I
> personally know folks doing these jobs--office clerk, talk show host,
> registered nurse, waitress, janitor, tax preparer, and school teachers. As
> hard as it is for us to get jobs, we do know people who do this kind of
> work, and we dare not sell out what competence we have for the immediate
> convenience of our checks and medical needs.
> Just so there is no misunderstanding here, I plan to be a part of a press
> conference where we focus on these cuts and how terrible they will be for
> blind people, but let's not be too hard on a fellow who says that some of
> his brothers and sisters do the very thing that blindness suggests they
> cannot do. Our message is complex--we need that safety net, but we need to
> acknowledge that all of us want to climb above it, and the fact that some
> have and many more continue to do so is a major reason why we come 
> together
> to love and support one another.
> Warmly,
> Gary
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